Welcome to our first newsletter! There are some pretty exciting things happening and we wanted a better way to keep everyone up to date and engaged so we will now be sending out a biweekly newsletter.
So- Hooray! As you know, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is moving forward with opening a resettlement office in Missoula and things are on track to welcome our first refugees by this summer! Thank you so much to everyone who has been involved to date - how ever large or small. From writing letters, to being a compassionate ear for someone with concerns, your combined efforts forged this success.
Now the real work begins! For the past month, Soft Landing Missoula has been focusing our efforts on laying a strong organizational foundation for moving forward as we start to transition into our new role supporting the IRC and other Missoula organizations, institutions, and community members to welcome refugees so that they won't just be able to survive here, but to THRIVE. I know many of you would like to participate even more and I am thankful for the patience you have had while we have labored on the initial groundwork. Look forward to many more volunteer opportunities in the near future to help us make this happen! We will be beginning to take on the structure of a true 501(c)3 non-profit (we are currently recruiting board members if this is something that excites you!) and are so thankful for the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center for their guidance through this process and for being our incubator!
Please join us for our event this Thursday, April 21st to celebrate our progress and look toward our future. The IRC will give a brief update of news on their end and I will speak to SLM progress and projects. We will also have a few guest speakers and some wonderful poetry. Oh! Did I forget to mention desserts and coffee!? The event will be from 6-8 at St Paul Lutheran Church, with the speaking engagements starting around 6:30 and plenty of time to get involved in wonderful conversation and put faces with names!
The following week, April 25-30th, Standing Alongside America's Muslims has put together some amazing events for "Celebrate Islam Week" and we hope you will join them for some of those as well! See attached flyer.
I want to again take a moment to reflect on how thankful I am for all of you. I shouldn't be surprised, but your work and support has been jaw dropping and this would not be happening without you. I am so honored and proud that you are on this journey with us.